Point Zero...


I don't get bored easily. I have my own universe inside my head and it keeps me company.
I find a 1000 things to think, do, or sometimes I just sit for hours and do nothing and I consider that to be the height of activity...which I have named very proudly, the art of being.

But for some reason, today I feel bored, a kind of blah, numb feeling...An unusual state for me.
As I am inquisitive by nature, I like to go to the bottom of things. So this is exactly what I did.
I took my boredom and placed in front of me, right there, on my writing table.
And we had this long conversation and I shall make you privy to bit and pieces of it.

- Hello do you have a name? I am Layla
- Yeah I have a name - Bored.

- Nice meeting you Bored, so how are you?
- It is all senseless - it simply makes no sense anymore.

- What is exactly senseless?
- The whole thing is absurd. It defies me. I can no longer grasp anything.

- What thing?
- Don't play clever with me. You know exactly what thing am referring to.

- Well, no, you tell me what thing.
- Everything. Life, people, theories, politics, the universe, God...it makes no sense anymore.

- In comparison to what?
- In comparison to what I believed before.

- Before what?
- Before the Occupation.

- And what happened since?
- I lost all my points of reference, all my sign posts. I am erring and am tired of erring.

- Erring where?
- Don't be silly Layla. You know damn well. Erring into nothingness...erring into some wishful thinking that it will all be over, erring into the belief that life will be "normal" again.

Sensing that Bored was opening up, I let him talk ....

- Tell me more please.
- I am tired of thinking about suffering, pain and misery. I am tired of seeing poverty, disease, violence, madness, brutality. I am fed up living on the fringes of life when others are living it fully... I am fed up of being marginalized in some corner of the globe, whilst others are living their lives normally... I am fed up of waiting for better days. I am fed up of being a witness to blood, shredded bodies, corpses in garbage dumps ... I am sick of seeing children begging. I am sick of hearing about women getting raped. My ears can no longer take the sound of explosions. My eyes can no longer see soldiers, armed men and guns. I am tired of worrying about Depleted Uranium seeping into my body. I am fed up of people telling me how horrible their lives are. I am saturated with stories of the unemployed, the sick, the wounded, the abandoned, the neglected, the tortured, the exiled, the dead...

- What else?
- I am longing for life like others. I want my family, my loved ones, my friends to have a life again. I want to be able to go dancing, to have dinner in a restaurant, to find a job, to go shopping, to walk in the streets, to not worry about lack of water or electricity or a bomb tearing me or others in pieces. I want to be able to take my mother for a drive, I want to go to a concert, I want to watch a film, I want to visit relatives, I want to attend weddings, or go to church or to a mosque... I want to congratulate someone on the birth of their child. Did you know people stopped getting married and reproducing out of fear? You know what that means don't you? That means they stopped making Love from fear of Death.

- Yes I heard that too. Remember little Hassan and the face I made when I heard that Mayssaloon was pregnant?
- Yes I remember...We are thinking like zombies, like nazis, like some puritans forbidding life. They make me sick Layla. They really make me sick.

- Who is they?
- All of them - specially those people in the West.

- What makes you say that?
- They write and write but really don't give a damn. I tried telling a few, they change subjects...they are not interested. Or when they express interest, they are condenscending, patronizing, looking down at me as if I was some reject that they need to save. They are the cause and they want to save me. Let them save themselves first.
Even out of our misery, they want to make trophies for themselves. Competing as to who shouts louder but they really don't give a fuck about us.
I will give you an example. I saw this article a few weeks ago, the title was "Iraqis are people too." I don't even want to remember the name of the author. Can you imagine what kind of person would write a title like that. What kind of vision this person has to need to go overboard and ascertain that we are people too.
Needless to say I did not even bother to read the article. With a title like that, what else can come from it but more crap along the same lines...
You know what bugs me most?


- What?
- They are either colonizers or missionaries. They are either here to steal, rape, inflict pain, destroy and kill or they play the holy ones and want to save us from their brethren hands.
But of course, they never look at their brethren and see they are made of the same blood and flesh.
And when I say missionaries, I don't mean priests and all that nonsense...We have those too. They come and rob and massacre us and then preach to us about deliverance and loving thy neighbor...How I hate them all.
They come and tell us what is good for us and what is bad for us...They believe they know better what our lives were like and then sit and pontificate on how we should be and what is the best outcome...when they know fuck all...How can they? They have not even walked one yard in our shoes.
Have you noticed how they are all so important? Each one of them, left and right. They used our cause to promote themselves haven't they?

I nod affirmatively...

- They have marginalized us out of this world , rendered us into survivors relying on instincts like some primate animal in a cage and they come and expect us to be "civil"... swallowing our pain and putting on a brave face. Have you noticed that too?
- Yes I have

- And you know what else? They put us in a corner and strip us of all options and then point their finger at us and say "See the savage, see the terrorist"...
Then they write in their typical fashion about the "psychology" of the suicide bomber deliberately refusing to look at how they turned him into one...They probably killed his whole family, tortured him, humiliated him and drove him into self explosion...
Then they sit and wonder why there is no peace and theorize if we are capable of it or not...Layla they are criminals of the worst kind.


Do you remember when we used to travel? Remember how we noticed how they would protect their own lives. How their leisure, rest and fun time were so important. How their screwed loves affairs were the center point of all their conversations. How they would nag and complain about queues and waiting for buses. How they expected that every need of theirs be catered for. How they worried about their dog catching cold if taken for a walk in the rain. Remember some would even buy organic food for it ...
- Yes Bored, I remember.

-Do you remember how important their health and well being are to them? They care about second hand smoke, about their weight, their cholesterol level, the radiation from the electricity poles...
But they come and pollute us with all their garbage. Their junk food, their radioactivity, their expired forbidden drugs, their canned food, their bombs...They dumped on us all the stuff they refuse to touch...
Our lives are so cheap in their eyes. Our blood is worthless, we can be dispensed of so easily ...The rift is so vast Layla , it is getting wider and wider...
-Yes I am aware of that.

-You know something else, even those who are so called "sympathizers", they are just another form of orientalist mind colonizers. They want to steal the language, the history, the looks, the art, the culture and appropriate it in the name of Love for the Orient. There is hardly anything altruistic about any of their motives.

- Surely they are not all that way?
- Well clearly Layla, I am not inside each woman's or man's heart. I am talking about a trend, a general tendency.
See, even amongst those who convert to Islam, you have met a few of them yourself. Remember how they have taken up the same attitude of the colonizer. Teaching us the proper way even though they have just joined the religion for a few weeks...It's the mentality Layla...it's deep, it's a pathology.


- So Bored, what do you suggest we do?
- There is not much we can do....see why I am here now?
- Yes I see clearly.

- And the others, the Arabs, say "This is your destiny- just accept"..."Allah willed it this way." How can they say nonsense like that when it is their political sell out and sluggishness that willed it that way.
In their limited minds, Allah is a tribal chief...Whilst Allah proned to even kill animals in a merciful way...
Layla, this is making me very angry, I cannot go on...I need to stop and make it all disappear.

- Bored, me too.

- So what do you say, shall I go back inside again and you feel numb once more?
- Great idea, let's do that...

So Bored re-incorporated himself inside my mind...Numbness was bliss after that conversation.
I smoked my final cigarette for the day, inhaled, exhaled, stubbed it out and took Bored with me to bed. We both needed to rest and face another Point Zero day tomorrow, maybe, inshallah, if God wills it.

PS. For the article on Iraqis being too scared to get married and have children...read it here.

Painting: Iraqi female artist, Suheir Salman.

Comments

Anonymous said…
really great article.......even though i live in the west....i share your thoughts on westerners in general
Anonymous said…
this is brilliant.
Anonymous said…
Layla, you are totally mad.
Anonymous said…
Layla,

I have been in love many times with many people. To be honest I love everyone. Even though their has been times I may dislike some people for what they have done or are doing, I will still love them for they would not be worth having a cold heart.

I will share with you something to think about, by an "Unknown Author"


----------------------

- Echoes of Our Hearts -

Sometimes we close our eyes and just listen to the echoes of our hearts. We all fall in love and there are times when we love so much that we lose ourself in our emotions. More often then not, we wonder why there are love that grows, and love has grows cold. We would start to search for answers and try to find where love has gone wrong. But in the end, we find ourselves where we started for we cannot question love when it has it's own reasons. Love will always be as it always has been...slient, mysterious and deeply profound.

Many of us believe that love is forever, that love never dies, only to be disillusioned in the end when we find our hands empty and our hearts longing. We mistakenly have looked at love as a need to be fulfilled. But love is a gift given to us. We should not hold it in our hands for we may never find the strength to let it go when it desides to leave. We should only embrace its warmth and glow while it last and then freely open our arms when its time to say good-bye.

When we fall in love, we don't want that feeing to end for it is everything we are, everything we wanted to be. We pray that love will stay and grow in our hearts. But if it doesn't then we should never let our lives be taken by it, for life should not end where heartaches begin.

There is always a reason why we have to move on. When we have to say good-bye to the feeling we wanted to stay forever, let us not wave our hands with heavy hearts. For love will have to set its wings free and find the place where it belongs. We may have lost it but then again, when we close our eyes and listen to the echoes of our hearts, we will hear that feeling resounding silently forever.

Then we'll know that love never left us, for the good that we have become because of the love will always stay. Love will always be there, reminding us that we should be thankful and happy not because, for once in our lives, that feeling called love lived in our hearts and made us happy.

-------------------------------

Layla I think love is for all to enjoy when we can. And we should always be thankful to get it, have it, or give it. Just as I love you all and this puts a warm spot in my heart just in knowing you.

I hope I get this right, Layla, Ana behibec.
I may never see you in person but you have put a warm spot in my heart. Thank you and may the Great Spirit be with you always my sister.

Savage American Warrior
Layla Anwar said…
S.A.W.Brother,

Ana kaman ba hibak...(me too!)
You got it right.
I personally, shun away from defining what love or what it is not...But I totally relate to that warm spot in the heart.

I leave you this time with a poem by Hafiz. A mystic poet.
" Talk not of Reason
to a man in love
No pit thy argument
against good wine
Love has reasons,
that Reasons know not of,
Reasons knows nothing
of things Divine"
Anonymous said…
Layla my Sister,

Nice poem, yes and very true. I have been very deep in love and have been hurt by it taking another path. I forget who said it but it goes, "Better to have lost love then to not have had love at all."

I will say my biggest lost love was when my Mother died, she will be forever in my heart and I will always miss the best friend of my life. As I've told you before a woman has my respect, men have to earn it. This is because my Mom was always there for me no matter what was going on in my life.

I think everyone even if they are a cold person wants to be loved they just don't want to go through the hurt that so often comes with it, after all it is on the most part, that the ones you love that can hurt you the most.

Yes, I have hurt, yes I have lost, yes I will keep loving. I never want to become a cold person that can not feel love or give it. This to me would be a lost life forever.

But far worse then not to have love is to hate anyone or anything. For this makes a lost connection with the soul.

I'm not sure if I shared this with you or not but it speaks loudly, it by Barbra LaBarbrea;

----------------------------------


- Broken Spirit -

With broken spirit inside
feelings of soul so hard to abide,
some have hidden away
and it seems they are there to stay.

Each and every day is the same,
lifes' spirit flickers like a low burning flame.
Th spirit knows not joy, saddness nor fear,
with eyes that cannot shed one tear.

The evenings long and into the night,
sleep evades the soul with vengeful flight.
Shadow dance slowly across the floor
bringing back past memories once more.

No feelings of happiness or pain,
knowing not loss or gain.
A spirit that can no longer give or take.
No feelings of any kind can it make.

Only my God (Great Spirit) knows the greatest sin
is to break one's spirit from within.
And this only He knows, but the spirit never shows...
mine was broken long ago.
----------------------------------

Yes I have lost love!!!
Layla take care and may the Spirit of Love be in your heart always and keep you forever warm.

Your Brother,
SAW
Anonymous said…
"Iraqis are people too"....
Thank you Cindy Sheehan for that most enlightening thought.
Oh, by the way Cindy, I came across that epitaph you wrote for Casey.

"My son, my darling son, Casey. Fought for freedom the I Raqi ragheads never expressed gratitude.
You shot a few ragheads here and there but always meant well. You were inspired by John Kerry of Swift Boat fame who shot a few gooks in the back to enhance his resume all in the name of freedom. And by the other Kerry, Bob, who slit a few throats along the way in Thanh Phong all in the name of freedom. Freedom and manhood were your motto but the ragheads never let you complete your divine mission.
Rest in peace my son for you will always be my man".
Anonymous said…
Layla,
I wish we could trade places, our existances, for just a day or two.
It is the only way to truely KNOW the lives we lead and the perspectives from our own eye's, heart's and mind's.

(I know....the idea of being an American disgusts you, it does me as well at times, this is just a theorehetical comment.)

Stay strong.
Stay safe.
And god be with you.
Ike
Anonymous said…
anon,
What the f*ck are you trying to say? Are you saying Americans are killing for freedom. If so you're for sure full of shit to your eyebrows. This F*CKING WAR is over GREED. What kind of man kills for greed? A sorry heartless man that will never rest in peace! Grow the f*ck up.
SAW
Anonymous said…
Savage,
Thank you for the platitudes. You obviously have trouble understanding sarcasm and the subtleties of nuanced language. Layla puts up with your long tirades because she is kindhearted and has a soft spot for people who have been oppressed. You are well meaning but quite frankly a little dumb. But being less dumb than your fellow Americans at large is no excuse. It is indeed reminiscent of Cindy Sheehan and her comment "I Raqis are people too"! And this is preciely the problem with so many anti-war and other folks on the left: well meaning but dumb. In deference to Layla, I will remain polite and refrain from excoriating you and your other dumb American brethren-sisterhood a la Cindy Sheehan further.
Anonymous said…
Anon,

I'll be your dumb, but I didn't know Cindy had went to this greedy little war so this is news to me. She may be a peacemaker but this does not mean her son was. And if this was a joke I feel I would rather be dumb as coldhearted such as your joke was.

Platitudes yes I will be silly for your kind, because people this kind of contemplate heartless ways will never have a clue to life.

Am I over the top? Some could say yes but I will not sale my soul to be lead like a sheep to the slaughterhouse.

And as far as your well meaning personality "so called" you can put it between bread and eat it. You don't have to be so kind to me for I don't care what others may feel or believe in America what matter to me is what is in my heart not theirs.

I will not judge you for your people or nation so please have the same respect too. As far as Layla goes when she gets tired of me and "my dumbness" she has the power of the pen to interlude anytime she may so desire.

Also, if the short bursts of my ingenious personality offends you, I say what a joke!!!
May the Great Spirit help guide you.

Savage
Anonymous said…
Hey Savage,
Please go easy on the booze. And may the Great Spirit help guide you in that direction. Or else you risk further deterioration in your mental faculties.
Best wishes.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
Anon the coyote

dry the pimple between your ears
Savage
Anonymous said…
i understand u, were u live in a third world country and all u want is this mess ends, there's alot of hope but still i cant see how this fucking war can ends, anyways u arent alone, there's alot of people who join your point of view.
the best wishes and i wish this war ends finally.
from argentina, a person that is against the war since when i was child.
by the way i will put a link on my space because i think many people can read it and support you as i do.
Layla Anwar said…
Hi Rodolfo, when I was a kid , I used to dream of going to argentina one day...do you teach tango? lol
Read my post last tango in Baghdad.http://arabwomanblues.blogspot.com/2007/02/last-tango-in-baghdad.html
Best
Anonymous said…
Layla, where did you learn to write such an americanized English?
If you allow me the observation, it is extremely unusual to find such a flawless English outside all the English speaking countries.
About your reality, North Americans will never understand.
They are extremely ignorant, born and raised fascists.
They seriously believe they are superior to all other kind.
For them, the rest of the world is devided in touristic destinations and places that must be taught democracy by bombing, ransacking, exploitation and then descarding them.
In history of human kind, only the Third Reich, as an imperialistic power, has mass murdered a higher number of civilians than the US in imperial wars.
But the gap is rapidly closing and soon the US will be the biggest mas murdered in history.
Since their berth as a Nation, they have been in permanent war.
Americans, they don't even question that.
They don't even ask themself why is it that only the US is constantly at war!
War against Spain, against Mexico, Philippins, expansion, always expansion, even invading countries as Grenada or Panama.
This last one, just to detain only one person.
That person, wasn't even accused of killing anybody. He was accused to be a Drug Dealer.
So, the US didn't hesitate on BOMBING PANAMA, killing hundreds and hundreds of civilians...just to arrest a drug dealer!!!!!!!!
And Layla, believe me, 99% of Americans have never question why or what was the real imperialistic reason.
The American population are the first to blame for the state of affairs in the world today.
Bush on his own, Cheny on his own, they could have never invaded anybody.
All the Americans (or actually 99% of them) who today write to you showing you their sympathy, are the same people who 4 years ago were fervently cheering for the invasion of Afganistan.
These same people still today continue thinking that their troops are "brave boys" giving service to their country but unfortunately, for the wrong reason.
How can they be "brave boys"?
First of all, they enlisted to fight an enemy which was and still is, infinetly inferior in military capabilities.
That from the start, doesn't sound very brave.
Secondly, they enlisted voluntarely to go kill people from a country that had not attack them.
That shows the kind of cowards this "brave boys" are.
The American Armed Forces are made of youngsters of a cowardly fascist mentality.
They grew up playing "video games", where they killed and killed and killed for a game.
THey see a war against an infinitely inferior enemy as an opportunity to play that same games they use to as kids, but with real human flesh.
Imagine the kind of racist, chauvinistic, nazi asshole somebody has to be to think like that.
On top of the fun of killing third world civilians, they get pay a salary!
So, these are the "brave American boys"?????????
Every single American soldier is a mass murder, because they take part voluntarely and on daily bases of a colective effort to realise an Arab Genocide.
If any American really feel any sympathy at all for you, I would advise them to put a gun on their heads and pul the trigger, so for once, they will feel what is like to be a third world slave of the Empire.
Layla Anwar said…
Hi 3rd world slave...
I did not know that only english speaking natives speak good english...See am learning everyday...
Let us put this way, I have been well "colonized".
Apart from this parenthesis, I think your observations on the good boys are very accurate. I referred to them in a subsequent post on Abu Ghraib, called "Down there in the dark dark chamber..." You may want to check it. So no mystery here.
Thanks for passing by and sharing.

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